Archive for: ‘March 2019’

Australia v India series 2017: India the proving ground for Australian Test cricket credentials

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

facebook南京夜網/CricketNSWAfter a terrific finish to the Test summer beating Pakistan 3-0, the challenge of next month’s Indian tour now looms large.
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India is an amazing place to visit with a different culture and a great passion for cricket but it is a tough place to play.

Recent history tells us that over the past 10 years India has lost just four of 49 Tests at home – two to South Africa and two to England.

Touring there tests you physically and mentally. It puts every area of your skill and resilience under the microscope.

To stand up and play well in India is to announce yourself as a world class team and that is what we want to do.

We may have to play ugly to score runs and take wickets. Captain Steve Smith talked about adapting to the conditions.

The most important thing I found when I toured there four years ago was adjusting to the type of wickets we’ll be playing on.

They’re going to be spin-friendly?but India’s batsmen are probably the best players of spin in the world, so we’re going to have to be patient.

In India, Test matches tend to start slowly but they can speed up very quickly. It’s about hanging in there and trying to win the big moments throughout the day.

Most of our new-look team have never played a Test in India. With all the recent changes only Steve Smith, David Warner, Matt Wade and myself are survivors from 2013. Seven of us remain from last year’s tour of Sri Lanka, which presented similar conditions.

But there is an energy and a belief in this young group which we saw during the second half of the summer. The way they play their natural game gives me the confidence we can climb cricket’s biggest mountain.

I have been particularly impressed with Peter Handscomb, who in just four Tests has shown himself to be a world class cricketer.

For a young player to come in under difficult circumstances and play with the freedom to score two centuries and two half-centuries in his first four Tests says volumes about his character – both on and off the field.

We played some great cricket in Melbourne to win a match which appeared as though it had been ruined by rain, and I particularly enjoyed the last Test in Sydney on my home ground.

We played more great cricket to dominate that match and I was delighted to be paired up again with fellow New South Wales spinner Steve O’Keefe, in the first time in a while two spinners have played in a winning Australian side.

We’re good mates and complement each other with our bowling – not just because we spin the ball in opposite directions.

I tend to come over the ball and gain more turn and bounce whereas Steve is very accurate, always attacking the stumps and creating subtle chances.

While no one can predict the future and the touring squad is yet to be chosen, I believe Steve and I can be vital members of the team in India.

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Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says ‘dream not over’ for Christian Lealiifano to play Super Rugby this year

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

Brumbies recruit Wharenui Hawera is the “frontrunner” to step into the No.10 jersey. Photo: Rohan Thomson Christian Lealiifano is still an outside chance to play in 2017. Photo: Brendon Thorne
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ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says the “dream is not over” for Christian Lealiifano to play Super Rugby this season.

But he’s backed Wharenui Hawera as the “frontrunner” to wear the No.10 jersey in Lealiifano’s absence.

Larkham said Lealiifano was halfway through his recovery period following his bone marrow transplant after he was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

He said last season’s co-captain was “going well” and he was still hopeful Lealiifano would play some role in the 2017 season.

Along with Hawera, Larkham has several options to fill Lealiifano’s boots at flyhalf.

Former Western Force centre Kyle Godwin, who made his Wallabies debut last year, was one, while the Brumbies coach could also turn to youngster Nick Jooste and fullback Aidan Toua.

“We have the option of Kyle playing 10, but we’ve also got young Nick Jooste coming through. Aidan Toua’s played 10 in the past as well, so he might give us some coverage there,” Larkham said.

“And then the dream is not over for Christian yet. He’s past the halfway stage. He has to be monitored for 100 days post the transplant and I’m pretty optimistic.

“I’d certainly like to see him back at some stage this year, but the odds are probably against that.

“Between those four guys, with the possibility of Christian, there’s good depth and enough there to play the way we want to play.”

But the man most likely to wear the No.10 was Hawera, who the Brumbies have plucked out of New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup where he played for the Southland Stags last season.

The 23-year-old spent four seasons at Waikato before joining the Stags and while he was yet to be part of a Super Rugby program, Larkham was impressed with Hawera’s skills.

“You can certainly tell he’s played in a high-level competition before at 10. His organisation out on the field is top notch,” Larkham said.

“He certainly stands out there in terms of the 10s we’ve got here at the moment. His organisation is better than the other guys.

“His understanding of the game plan and the way that we want to play is already there and he’s got a great skill set both with the ball in hand and defensively.

“There’s obviously a few games to go before the start of the season, but he’s certainly put his best foot forward so far and at this stage probably the frontrunner for that position.”

Hawera joined the Brumbies on a training trial for the chance to earn a contract.

He now has his sights set on making his Super Rugby run-on debut against the Canterbury Crusaders in round one.

“I’m stoked to be here and it’s been a long road, played in New Zealand for a few years and jumped at the opportunity to come over here for a bit of a trial and to see all the hard work pay off, it’s pretty good and pretty satisfying,” Hawera said.

“I’ve just got to put my best foot forward and train hard and earn the boys’ respect first and foremost and then just hope for the best.”

Larkham said that first-round team was starting to take shape, but there was still a few weeks of pre-season, as well as the two trials, for players to impress.

He said all three hookers were in the running to replace departed Wallabies captain Stephen Moore, while Chris Alcock was ahead in the race to replace David Pocock, who is having a sabbatical this year.

“Saia [Faingaa’s] had one of his best off-seasons. He’s really enjoyed coming back down … [Josh Mann-Rea’s] just a team man through and through so he’ll train as hard as he can every single time and Robbie Abel’s certainly improved his skill since last I saw him,” Larkham said of his three hookers.

“They’re all putting their hand up, they know there’s a great opportunity there for one of them.

“[There’s] good competition [at openside flanker] as well. There’s Jarrad Butler, there’s Jordan Smiler, there’s Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini. There’s a number of guys in that back row that can play any number of positions there, but Chris Alcock is probably the standout at this stage.”

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Chewing gum is better than drugs for easing nausea after surgery, study suggests

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

The scientists used peppermint gum in their study. There’s no data on the efficacy of spearmint flavour. Photo: Andrey Rudakov About one in three people suffer nausea and vomiting after surgery. Photo: Glenn Hunt
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Chewing a piece of gum could be more effective than a leading drug for nausea, new research suggests.

About one in three people suffer nausea and vomiting after surgery.

In?some cases the queasiness can last for days and cause people’s wounds to bust open.

Nausea after surgery is more common among women?and for people who already get motion sickness.

It also seems to be associated with certain procedures, particularly those where people’s abdomens are blown up with gas so surgeons can move their instruments around.

Dr Jai Darvall?, from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said that since drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery were ineffective for some people, he and his colleagues set out to test chewing gum against a leading drug treatment among 94 women having surgery.

Women who felt sick after their procedures received either a stick of Wrigley’s peppermint gum to chew while being monitored in the recovery room, or the anti-nausea drug ondansetron.

In the gum group, 15 of 47 patients experienced nausea and vomiting. Twelve of these patients chewed gum (one didn’t want to and two more?were too sleepy).

Nine of the 12 given gum – or 75 per cent –?said it fully resolved their problem within about 10 minutes.

In the drug group, 13 patients experienced nausea and vomiting.

All of them were given ondansetron through an intravenous drip, but only five – or 37 per cent – said it fully resolved the problem.

Dr Darvall said while the small study, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia,?needed to be replicated and done in multiple hospitals to prove gum was a useful treatment, it was encouraging.

He said chewing gum was cheap and didn’t require an intravenous line, making it potentially attractive for the treatment of nausea suffered by millions after surgery each year.

Post-surgery nausea is considered such an annoyance that one US study found people were willing to pay $100 for a treatment to get rid of it.

Dr Darvall said chewing gum was already prescribed by colourectal surgeons to help patients stimulate their digestive system after major bowel surgery.

He suspects that chewing is the key mechanism, rather than the peppermint flavour.

“We think it’s tricking the stomach and brain into thinking the person is eating … Perhaps the brain finds it hard to be eating and nauseous at the same time,” he said.

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Hunter Hero: Friends of Ronald McDonald House chairperson Julie Parsons.

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

A friend indeed: Julie Parsons, chairperson of Friends of Ronald MacDonald House, lends an ear to families with sick chidlren. Picture: Simone De Peak.JULIE PARSONSVOLUNTEERWhen kids are having treatment for life-threatening or serious illnesses at John Hunter Hospital, the go to is Ronald McDonald House. A place that volunteers like Julie Parsons makewarm and inviting.
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Ms Parsons is the chairperson of Friends of Ronald McDonald House, a community organisation of 17 volunteers who raise money for the house and have recently passed the $100,000 mark in donations.

A volunteer for the past 21 years, theretired school photographerhas seen families at their very best and very worst. She could sympathise with thembecause she hadbeen in a similar situation. Five years ago, her grandson was born at 26 weeks.

“I actually became one of the families on the other side,” Ms Parsonssaid.

“I could then relate more to what they were going through.”

Sponsored by fast food giant McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House can remind just about every kid of one of life’s guilty pleasures –junk food. But Ms Parsonssaid the kids only have one thing on their mind when they walk through the door – the toy room.

“We’ve got plenty of happy toys there for them to play with,” she said.

The kids make a beeline for the toy room – while parents are still juggling luggage – which houses PlayStation’s and statues of fast food icon, Ronald McDonald.

Ms Parsons said a big part of her job was spending time with families and listening, if that was what they needed.

“Sometimes, people just want to sit down and have a quiet talk …Some people don’t want to talk at all,” she said.

“[The job is] not to offer advice or think that you’re going to fix everything, but just to be there for the families.”

As part of the 17 volunteers of Friends of Ronald McDonald House, Ms Parsonsplayed a role in raising $100,000 for the House through various fundraising events, which she described as “very exciting”.

Part of the money raised has gone to new lounges in the family area, and a sponsored room in the house.

“We can actually see what our contributions have gone to,” she said.

“The group’s actions have been recognised by the community, with the Friends being nominated for Lake Macquarie’s Volunteer Group of the Year award,” she said.

But despite appreciating the nomination, Ms Parsonssaid the group do what they do for the House, not for recognition.

“I can vouch for everybody in the group of Friends of Ronald McDonald House [that we’re] not there for accolades,” she said. “We get as much out of being there as what we hope the families get out of us helping them.”

Dutton’s values push undermines freedom

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

Peter Dutton’s first thought bubble for the year –a proposal to tighten up Australia’s citizenship test to crack down on would-be terrorists –suggests 2017 is not going to be the year our Immigration Minister starts showing any latent signs of lucidity.
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The way to stop looming jihadists from “exploiting migration pathways”, according to Dutton –a man who previouslypredictedasylum seekers would simultaneously poach Aussie jobs and be unemployable – is for the citizenship test to place more emphasis onAustralian values. If you’re as confused about what this means as I am, the minister has been helpful enough to elaborate: send your children to school, speak English and get a job. Yes, the minister now expects you to find employment, even if it means “taking Australian jobs”,presumably.

Dutton’s proposal has been greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by One Nation leaderPauline Hanson, the self-appointed gatekeeper of what it means to be Australian.

Clearly something needs to be done because, according to7 News, “shocking new figures”show “thousands of migrants fail the test each year”and – worse still – “are allowed to sit it over and over again”. A bit like a driving test then, which a sizeable portion of Australians fail on the first attempt, except they’re typically encouraged to try again, rather than to pack it in because they’re not the sort of people we want on our roads.

As for why so many aspiring citizens are attempting the test “over and over”–it’s something of a mystery in light of Hanson’s claim that “they give you the answers anyway”. But maybe it’s because those sitting the test desperately want to belong here? Or perhaps it’s because the citizenship test relies, to an inexplicable extent, on sporting iconsand dates that the majority of those born here would fail to correctly identify.

Maybe, even, it’s because the test is “flawed, intimidating to some, and discriminatory”, according to a 2008 review, and the updated version, which “ignored most of the crucial recommendations”, still discriminates against the humanitarian program intake; the same cohort, let’s be honest, Dutton has firmly in his sights.

On the obscure topic of “Australian values”– just what does the minister mean? What aspects of the national cultural identity should newcomers be required to adopt, to meld with?The so-called “larrikin spirit”perhaps, which at its core, let’s face it, has a healthy disregard for convention and distrust for authority? Or the values reflected in our unofficial national anthem – which celebrates an itinerant labourer who steals a sheep then drowns himself rather than submit to officers of the law?Probably not.

Maybe Dutton is referring to those ideals set forth by Immigration and Border Protection, including the “spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need”– values that may be absent from the minister’s own pronouncements, but are helpfullysummarisedin his department’s “Australian values statement”that aforementioned refugees are duly required to sign.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting new citizens to share certain values in order that we can all get along together. But here’s the thing: in sanctioning how people must behave to demonstrate their worthiness – prescribing what they are permitted to do or wear, to eat, or to speak and in what language – we undermine the most important freedom of all. And that freedom – to be the same, or to be different –just happens to be the thing at the core of the democracy that we want all Australian citizens to cherish.

Testing times: Peter Dutton swimming in Australian values.

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